This photo I took in the island of Capones is my most favorite from last weekend. Taken after about a 30-meter swim from that boat you can see in the picture to the shore, and after a good 40 minute or so hike to the lighthouse and back. It was the second day of our team building, and a great way to cap off our adventure.
It wasn’t my first time in Zambales. My third, actually. But I gotta say, I had the most fun with my office mates last Sunday and Monday. We had some difficulties organizing it, as some backed out the last minute, but it turned out really well. Shrugging the bad vibes off, not to mention our van service which turned out to be wi-fi and videoke less (much to our dismay), we headed out to San Antonio, Zambales one very early Sunday morning. It was a smooth 3 hour travel, as I was asleep more than half the time, and we were greeted by the cold breeze upon arrival to that small, quiet and clean town. After buying some stuff we need, we then proceed to Pundaquit for a boat ride to Anawangin.
Taking from experience, a travel wouldn’t be worth remembering without any mishaps. We had some, it didn’t stop with the service. After the boat ride, we asked the bangkero about our supposed island hopping. He just gave us an unsure answer, telling us that he’s not aware of what our itinerary was and he was told that island hopping will be on the next day. We did our best to convince them to just include us with a group so we can at least follow our itinerary, but to no avail. After settling in our stuff and pitching our tents, we accepted the fact that we’ll have a whole morning to kill so just make the most out of it. And we actually did.
While our TL Eric made himself busy preparing for our lunch (yes, we are spoiled that way heehee), we decided to roam around the beach area instead. We tested the water, took pictures in the cave-looking part of the beach, and went to the other side. We rock-and-wall-climbed our way, and in my case, barefoot.
We had fun exploring the island we didn’t notice the time. It was past 1PM when we went back to our camp site, and we were starving! Good thing lunch is already served, so we devoured ourselves and gave in. We took a quick nap after, recharged, then played the first set of games Mavs prepared for the team. But since I woke up with leg cramps, I sat out of the first two challenges (naks, feeling Survivor haha). Few more tics and the sun is already setting! We had to scramble our way to the shore to take pictures of it.
After sunset photo, my last for the day as I need to save my camera battery for tomorrow:
Then came the most fun part – the overnight stay in Anawangin. No cellphones, no camera; nothing but the chirping of the crickets, the sound of the waves, the light of the moon and the stars, the cold wind blowing, and the bonfire keeping us warm. Well um, of course the booze, for that matter. After a sumptuous dinner (liempo and fried talong, hmm now I’m craving haha), we prepared to booze the night away. With TL Eric’s signature mix of Mindoro Sling, we started to gather around the campfire talking about random stuff. Then we decided to play the second part of games Mavs prepared for us – Pinoy Henyo and Charades! Call it corny, but we had a GREAT time playing haha! We spent, I think, more than 4 hours playing and we just couldn’t stop laughing and laughing with the way we’re playing the games. Especially the charades. As what Mariel commented on Dea’s bonfire photo, it was the sole witness of our craziness that night. No Akin, Morrie, Organizing Angels, Jennifer Lupa; these are just a few terms our team would probably not forget haha! See, just remembering those moments is making me laugh right now😀
At around 2AM, we ran out of wood to keep the bonfire alive. Getting all tipsy, we then decided to go star gazing instead. As we made our way to the shore, we were in awe with the number of stars we’re seeing up above. It was like a gazillion! So we laid down the sand, and watched the stars shining. WOW. It was such an experience. To see them twinkling all at the same time, big, small and in cluster. It was like the ones in the auditorium but much better. A vast area full of stars. We were speechless for a moment, then we suddenly saw shooting stars! I made a wish right away. After that, I saw two more, but failed to make more wishes. Either I was too drunk to think of what to wish, or still couldn’t believe the amazing work of nature right in front of my eyes. I then told my friends that we should sing songs with “stars” in it. I started it with Stars by Simply Red – ♫That I…wanna fall from the stars straight into your arms. And I…feel you , I hope you comprehend♪ Then one followed it with Starry Starry Night, and then Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and then Paris Hilton’s Stars Are Blind, I added Bituing Walang Ningning haha, and then one followed it with Star Circle Quest, then of course I ended it with Dream, Believe, Survive…Starstruck! It was FUN! The best part of day 1, I’d have to say.
Now on to the second day. After another delicious meal for breakfast, we tidied up and prepared ourselves to leave. We are all excited for island hopping as it was initially planned on our first day. Little did we know that there would be a sort of a challenge, as we need to swim our way to Capones, from our boat to the shore. That was around 30 meters (as what I mentioned in my intro). It was not easy because of the big waves, and I really am not a swimmer. But I did it! Thanks to the life vest. We then made our way to the lighthouse, the one I failed to go to the last time. We actually hiked our way to it, and I enjoyed it. I miss hiking! Reaching the lighthouse made me realize though, that the place is not well taken care of. There was litter and vandalism all around. Oh well. I just enjoyed the view on our way back. Such a breathtaking place! Those picturesque views did it for me.
I guess these photos would suffice, eh? Needless to say, we had a great time. So much that until now, we are still not over it. The fun that we had, the sand, the trees, the beach, the tents, the food, the booze, the stars! Everything. We all needed this to de-stress. I hope it served its purpose, I know it did. And I am hoping for another getaway like this soon! Thank you Tyrians – Mavs, Dea, Cris, Mariel, Teisha, Lara, Tin, and TL Eric, for this wonderful experience! What a despedida for Cris! Haha. I know we’ve grown much closer after this, despite some issues haha! That’s actually the beauty of our Zambales escapade – no awkward conversations and stuff, we just had fun. I hope we can have all Tyrians join us next time. See you all when I get back from Boracay😀